Crime

Joseph Baca busted for sex assault after 4/20 rally, but booze may have played a bigger part

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On April 21, 2010, according to the arrest warrant, police officers were called to Denver Health Medical Center. There, they interviewed two fourteen-year-old girls, one of whom appeared to have been sexually assaulted the day before, although she couldn't remember the details.

What did she remember? The previous day, April 20, she recalled being at the McDonalds near 16th and Broadway when she encountered what is described as an "unknown Black female" who subsequently introduced the pair to some male friends.

Shortly thereafter, the teens accompanied this group to a nearby apartment, where a party took place. There, one of the girls said she had "some kind of drink" and then blacked out.

Even after she regained consciousness, her memories were fuzzy. She could picture being outside the apartment and going home. But upon waking the next morning, she discovered she was wearing a different shirt than she'd had on the previous day and her panties were gone. Moreover, she was suffering from vaginal pain severe enough that she'd sought medical help.

The report doesn't say the teens were in the area to attend the 4/20 rally. But the McDonalds in question was only blocks away from the festivities -- and the event is specifically mentioned later in the context of the party, where both drinking and marijuana smoking is said to have taken place.

More details emerged over the next day or so. The apartment was pinned down to the 2300 block of Broadway. In addition, the individuals in question are also said to have stopped to buy some booze at Joe's Liquors, located at 2644 Larimer Street.

One more key piece of information: On April 19, cops had been called to a unit in the Broadway apartment complex on a report of a loud party. At that time, officers had interviewed and cleared a trio of men, including Joseph Baca and Alexander Fernandez .

The latter's middle name is "Leo," and that proved key. One of the teens remembered someone named Leo, and after being shown a photo of Fernandez, she immediately identified him.

She also said she'd seen the other teen making out with one of the males and heading into a room -- although she didn't know what happened inside it.

Continue for more about the child-sex-assault arrest of Joseph Baca, including more photos and the arrest report.

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Michael Roberts has written for Westword since October 1990, serving stints as music editor and media columnist. He currently covers everything from breaking news and politics to sports and stories that defy categorization.
Contact: Michael Roberts